The Matamata Turtle is an unusual species of the Amazon River native to the Amazon River and its tributaries in Peru, Venezuela, Guiana, and Brazil. The Matamata turtle is the largest member of its pleurodiran family and it can reach a length of 18 inches (45 cm). It is specialized for feeding upon live fish that it sweeps into its mouth by a rapid lateral strike of the neck and jaws, and a vigorous simultaneous expansion of the thyroid apparatus in the neck.
The Matamata Turtle of the Amazon River is a popular pet but most problems with captive Matamatas are water quality related. Unclean water or water with high pH are common poor husbandry offerings. Matamatas are often imported with injuries to their feet or skin, especially the delicate flaps that aid in their astonishing camouflage. If kept clean, these areas will not regrow, but will heal quickly.